Return to School News - March 8, 2021

By Communication and Community Relations
March 10, 2021

FCPS Welcomes In-Person Return for Students in Groups 6 and 8 on Tuesday, March 9

Last Tuesday, March 2, approximately 25,000 students, including grades 8, 9, and 12, returned to FCPS classrooms. There was a mixture of excitement and anxiety for teachers and students as they began new routines and made sure to practice safety and social distancing. Many students were happy to be able to make connections with teachers and their peers.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 9, Group 6 and Group 8 students—grades 1, 2, 7, 10, 11, grades 6 at Poe, Glasgow, and Holmes Middle Schools, plus some Pulley and Davis Career Center students—will return to in-person learning. By March 16, FCPS is returning all students who previously selected to do so to in-person learning by following a steady and measured approach. Be sure to check with your school on which two days your student will attend each week.

Health and Safety Reminder: How FCPS Responds to COVID-19 Cases at School

It has been an exciting few weeks welcoming new groups of students back to in-person instruction. We hope you and your student have reviewed the five key mitigation strategies, and discussed the importance of following them every day, to help keep everyone safe inside our school buildings. 

While we are doing everything possible to keep our schools safe, we want to remind you of our notification process if we are made aware of a positive COVID case in an FCPS building. FCPS is working closely with the Fairfax County Health Department to help with contact tracing and we will be following their guidance on any potential public health recommendations.

Get more information on the response to a COVID positive case at a school

Spotlight on Equity in Education: Meet Shannon Merriweather

Shannon Merriweather is one of five equity specialists in FCPS. She serves the schools and staff members in Region 3.

Shannon is also a member of the team working to gather input to develop an anti-racist and anti-bias curriculum for the school division. Get to know Shannon Merriweather

Students Relocating Within Virginia and Contiguous States May Remain Enrolled in FCPS Schools

The Fairfax County School Board has voted to support an exception to Policy 2202, Section III. I. that allows families who are permanently relocating within Virginia or to states contiguous with Virginia to request their child remain enrolled in their current Fairfax County public school (either virtually or in-person) for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year, effective immediately.

The temporary exception, which does not change the policy long-term, is to support students and families who may be relocating during the COVID-19 emergency for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. 

Video: A Student's Perspective on Returning to In-Person Instruction at Carson Middle School 

A Carson Middle School student shared his thoughts about what it means to be back to in-person instruction.

Is Your Child Ready to Return to School?

FCPS middle and high school students will not be using lockers for the rest of the 2020-21 school year. Plan ahead so that your child is ready to return to school. 

Also, be sure to visit the return to school checklist online to make sure they have the items needed for in-person learning.

Two Schools Selected for 2021 First Amendment Press Freedom Award

Two Fairfax County public schools—Chantilly High School and McLean High School—are among 14 schools nationwide selected as recipients of the 2021 First Amendment Press Freedom Award. This is the seventh consecutive award for Chantilly High and the fourth award for McLean High.

The award recognizes private and public high schools that actively support, teach, and protect First Amendment rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, with an emphasis on student-run media where students make all final decisions on content. 

Video: Step Up to Support an FCPS Classroom

Classroom monitors are an important part of the FCPS return to school plan. Central Office volunteers are playing a role by providing support to classrooms when the teacher needs to remain virtual. Meet Manuel Portillo, who is an FCPS Central Office employee who has volunteered his time to provide this critical support.

Employment Opportunities in Fairfax County Public Schools: Classroom Monitors

FCPS schools and centers are hiring classroom monitors to provide in-person classroom assistance for students when some staff members continue to work virtually. If you would like more information about the position, review the job description online and apply if interested. Please share information about this opportunity with anyone else you think may be interested. 

Thanks for Your Newsletter Feedback!

Now that all groups of students that chose to return to in-person learning will have done so by March 16, this newsletter, Return to School News, will need a new name. As a result of your feedback from our recent newsletter poll, the new name will be a familiar one: FCPS This Week. The newsletter will be distributed on Wednesday mornings starting March 24. Watch for more information in next week's newsletter.  

School Board Ready to Sign Contracts for Solar Program

The Fairfax County School Board voted unanimously to move forward with a solar program that will allow FCPS to purchase renewable energy with little or no upfront or operational costs. The Fairfax County Public Schools program will install solar panels on school buildings with the goal of reducing FCPS’ greenhouse gas emissions and electricity costs.

Daylight Saving Time Begins: Move Your Clocks Ahead One Hour on Sunday

This Sunday, March 14, at 2 a.m., daylight saving time begins. Don’t forget to move your clocks ahead one hour!

Video: Food and Nutrition Services Team Served 10 Million Meals in the Last Year

The FCPS Office of Food and Nutrition Services has reached an incredible milestone. The dedicated staff served 10 million meals between March 2020 and March 2021! FCPS is extremely thankful for the hard work and collaboration to support our families during this challenging time.

High School Students Invited to Fairfax County 2021 Virtual Teen Job Fairs

Fairfax County high school students looking for their first part-time job, summer and seasonal job opportunities, or who want more information about potential career pathways are invited to attend one of six upcoming teen job fairs and resume building workshops in Fairfax County. Local businesses and agencies will be on hand to offer a range of opportunities including part-time employment, internships, and volunteer work for prospective students.

Volunteer opportunities and resume building workshops will also be available for younger students. The two job fairs will be held on Saturday, March 13, from 2 to 5 p.m., and Saturday, March 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Students can register for the March 13 Job Fair and the March 20 Job Fair.

Photos of the Week

In this week’s photos, see students at work and play and students and teachers back in the classroom as the return to school continues.

FCPS in the News